Donald Trump is allegedly in charge of national security but the numbers are against him. He wants to rob the very agencies of government that could save us from a disaster more lethal than an atom bomb attack. The culprit is influenza or some other deadly disease. The agencies of government that are the front line against infectious plagues are the State Department, the National Institutes of Health, and the US Agency for International Development. One positive benefit of the failure to repeal Obamacare is that it saves, for the moment, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It is a sign of Trump's wing-it approach that he injects into his budget a provision for emergency response minus any indication of how it would be funded or at what level. This is called trying to reinvent the wheel.

Disaster math

Before there was the atom bomb there was infectious disease, and in just two years, 1918-19, an influenza epidemic killed more people than all the wars of the 20th century. In any calculus where conscious decisions are considered, protection against such a deadly scourge ranks as the most important priority of a true commander in chief. But Mr. Trump has called for inflating the military beyond its already massive advantage and leaving our first lines of protection less capable than they were when the Zika virus appeared.

You may remember that as a nip and tuck affair.

It gets worse

The fact that antibiotics cannot prevent many possible infectious strains intensifies the need to redouble the capacity of agencies tasked with protecting us.

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According to experts on deadly germs, writing in today's New York Times, failure to take protective measures could cause more deaths than cancer and diabetes combined by 2050. Such statistics roll off our backs like water these days. Apocalyptic alarmism is in fashion. But if we are reasonable we should at least be able to say that we should not approve a budget that exposes us to more danger when we could continue and even increase the protections we need. Hopefully, the American people will stand between Mr. Trump and his exalted notions of national security.